Watauga Sheriff's Office, Appalachian District Health Department Receive Grant (2018-06-19 15:28:41)

The Appalachian District Health Department and the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office have received a grant from the NC Opioid Action Plan to implement projects to fight the opioid crisis.

Watauga Online reports 12 community partners across the state will receive one-time, state-funded grants of up to $150,000 from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to enable partner organizations to implement activities in their communities that improve access to harm reduction, treatment and recovery supports. According to the report, the funds will allow the Sheriff’s Office to hire a full time social worker to work directly with inmates to link them with treatment and support upon release as well as establish an opiate action program within the Detention Center that allows inmates with longer stays an opportunity to use their time to work on their recovery. Watauga Sheriff Len Hagaman says he's confident that once implemented, by reducing recidivism, the grant will be repaid many times over in reduced costs for identified inmates, and help them become successful and productive citizens. Jennifer Greene, Health Director for Appalachian District Health Department, expects the funds will allow additional resources to address substance misuse and prevention. According to the report, the Bakersville Community Medical Clinic, serving Mitchell, Yancey, Avery, and McDowell counties, also received a grant.